Inside
by Kira



They appeared one day.  Blair had been gone the entire morning and afternoon, teaching, researching and running an assortment of errands, which while not vital always seemed to take the most energy and time.  Jim had the day off after being informed by Simon that he would handcuff the detective to his bed if he didn't stay away from the station for the next two days.

Jim hadn't been up when Blair departed for the university.  But when Blair returned, shucking his coat and rubbing his hands to stimulate circulation after the near freezing temperatures outside, the Sentinel was most definitely awake.  In fact, he was sweeping the floor, collecting sawdust
and paint chips in a neat pile before whisking them away in the dust pan.

And there they were.  Smelling of newly sanded oak, varnish, and the ozone of used power tools.  A set of doors.  For his room.

"Hey, Chief."  Jim ran his hands under the tap and grabbed a towel to dry them.  "You're back late."

"Yeah.  Line ups at the photocopiers."  Blair scratched his head  "What's up with the Handy Homemaker, man?"

Jim looked confused, as if he hadn't really thought about it.  "Uh, they're doors."

"No.  Really?" Blair smiled and pulled out two beers from the fridge. Jim gratefully accepted.  "And here I thought they were a nouveau style of chair."

Jim shook his head with a snort.  "Whatever."

Blair took a sip of his beer.  "So...what inspired you to put up doors only two years after I've been living here?"
 
Jim shrugged.  "The curtain really didn't keep the heat in.  I could hear your teeth chatter upstairs.  Was affecting my beauty sleep."

Blair blinked.  The room was cold, even when he kept the heat up.  Most of the warm air simply rose up into the loft, abandoning his tiny space for greater, and higher, places.  Even his hand woven blanket from Tibet hadn't helped the chill that seeped into his bones at night.

He sniffed as his eyes finally caught up with the idea that turpentine stinks and began to water.  No unmanly tears at affectionate roommate gestures here.  No sirree.

He set his bottle on the counter and Jim cocked his head to one side. Walking up right next to him, Blair wrapped his arms around the older man's waist and squeezed hard.  He whispered really soft.

"Thanks Jim."

Jim's arms completed the embrace.

"Don't mention it."


Finis

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